The IRS requires companies that have issued or plan to issue option grants to get a 409A valuation in order to maintain their safe harbor status. Early-stage companies and founders need to be aware of this inevitability to prevent their shareholders from having to pay onerous 409A penalty fees. Simply, a 409A valuation is required by law. You need a 409A valuation to ensure your company is in compliance. Essentially, a 409A valuation is an appraisal of the fair market value of your startup company’s common stock. With publicly traded stock it’s easy to see the specific prices for any given time of day. But for private company stock, you need an independent valuation to see how much your company stock is worth. Fortunately, Swift and Wise, LLC is the leading 409a appraisal service company that provides a 409A valuation in order to maintain its safe harbor status and ensure your company is in compliance.